Twitter is developing a significant upgrade to its search capabilities, aiming to add semantic search technology that understands the meaning behind queries. CEO Elon Musk announced the company would soon roll out contextual search features to find tweets and content more relevant to user intent.
Semantic search relies on natural language processing rather than just matching keywords. This allows matching queries with tweets that may not contain the exact keywords but are meaning-related.
Understanding Context to Improve Search Results
According to Musk, the initial semantic search focus will be comprehending context around trending topics and current events. Further development will expand these contextual capabilities.
Currently, Twitter search only matches literal keywords, missing tweets that may be highly relevant but don’t contain precise terms. Semantic search should alleviate this issue.
For example, a query for “Microsoft” today would only return tweets with that word. Tweets mentioning “the Windows maker” instead wouldn’t appear, despite the clear contextual relevance.
Challenges in Training AI Models
However, training sophisticated semantic models requires massive datasets, which Twitter may lack compared to more prominent tech firms. Google notably shifted to semantic search technology over ten years ago.
So developing sufficient AI comprehension of language nuances poses a key challenge for Twitter. Still, the enhanced search could dramatically improve content discovery once rolled out.
Part of Broader Twitter Overhaul
The semantic search update aligns with Musk’s goal to overhaul Twitter into an “Everything App” with many integrated services.
Last week, reports claimed Twitter was exploring adding stock trading and financial services, but Musk denied this was in active development.
The launch of profile checkmark hiding for Twitter Blue subscribers represents another recent new capability under Musk.
Overall, semantic search underscores Musk’s push to transform Twitter with new features and technologies, aiming to boost user value.